Thousands in Egypt Mourn 'Headscarf Martyr'

Woman stabbed in German courtroom during hearing on religious insult
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2009 4:11 PM CDT
Egyptians flash a poster showing 32-year old pregnant Egyptian woman Marwa el-Sherbini, top, Monday July 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Ahmed)
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(Newser) – Thousands gathered in Alexandria today for the funeral of Marwa Sherbini, a pregnant Egyptian woman killed in a German courtroom last week by a man convicted of insulting her religion, the AP reports. Sherbini, 32, was stabbed 18 times by a man identified only as Axel W, 28. They were attending a hearing for his appeal of a $1,050 fine levied when he called Sherbini a “terrorist” because she was wearing the Muslim headscarf, or hijab.

Sherbini’s husband, Elwi Okaz, was also injured in the courtroom; Okaz was both stabbed by Axel W and accidentally shot by a policeman. Egyptian media are calling Sherbini “the martyr of the hijab,” and many are outraged that the attack could take place inside a courtroom, Al Jazeera reports. At least two protests are planned this week in Alexandria and Cairo.